Semarang in Central Java played host to an annual folk event on Sunday to celebrate the approach of the Ramadhan fasting month this year.
Also known as the Dugderan tradition, the event's festivity included hundreds of merchants gathering along the city's main streets of Jl. Agus Salim and Jl. Pemuda, where the main festival took place. Available for sale were various goods such as pottery, children's toys, local cuisine and clothing. There was also an area dedicated to children that include rides such as a carousel.
Historically, the Dugderan was first held in 1881 during the time of mayor RMTA Purboningrat to mark the first day of Ramadhan. At that time, there had often been differences of opinion regarding the first day of Ramadhan, which had the potential to create friction in the community. The tradition was created to provide an occasion to bring people together to start the fasting month.
The tradition was later called Dugderan to refer to the sounds of a bedug (a wooden drum) being hit or a cannon being fired as the sign of the eve of Ramadhan.
Usually held two weeks prior to Ramadhan, Dugderan's highlights include a parade of thousands of local residents from Semarang's 16 districts and the announcement of the start of Ramadhan by the Semarang mayor.
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